NBA trade rumors are suggesting a rather interesting replacement for Blake Griffin. According to Hoops Rumors, the Los Angeles Clippers are now trying to come up with a trade that will get the New Orleans Pelicans to part ways with Ryan Anderson. The Pelicans have been fielding calls from several NBA teams about a deal because they are afraid that they will not be able to sign Anderson when he becomes a free agent this summer.
With the way that the salary cap in the NBA is expected to rise, several players will appear to be overpaid over the coming years. There’s already talks that Ryan Anderson might be able to command a maximum salary from a team that desperately needs an upgrade at the forward position. Since the New Orleans Pelicans are already paying big money to Anthony Davis, a player that definitely deserves all the money that he can be paid, they are trying to get something for Anderson.
The Los Angeles Clippers aren’t a team that’s too concerned about money. Team owner Steve Ballmer is a billionaire because of Microsoft. He legitimately wants an NBA Championship, so he has no qualms about Clippers president Doc Rivers spending money to make it happen. Los Angeles also needs more depth at the forward position because Blake Griffin has lost some trust within the organization.
There are those that believe that the Los Angeles Clippers might be better off without Blake Griffin. The pick and roll play that Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan run is sometimes impossible to stop when they are surrounded by three shooters. Griffin is a solid shooter, but he’s not that great as a three-point shooter. Ryan Anderson is known for being a great three-point shooter, so he might be a much better fit with Paul and Jordan.
If Blake Griffin shows that he can be a mature player again, and the Los Angeles Clippers decide to sign Ryan Anderson to a long-term deal, then they’re going to have enviable depth in the front court. In that scenario, Griffin would start at power forward, while DeAndre Jordan starts at center. Anderson would provide backup minutes at both forward and center, drawing defenders away from Chris Paul and the interior players.
Lance Stephenson is in need of yet another change of scenery. The Los Angeles Clippers can include him in the trade package for Ryan Anderson. The New Orleans Pelicans can kick the tires to see if he can be the star player that he was when he was with the Indiana Pacers. Since he felt that he was one of the best players in the NBA, Stephenson bolted for the Charlotte Hornets because he felt that Pacers president Larry Bird had not offered enough money.
If the Los Angeles Clippers are completely confident that Blake Griffin can be trusted, then they might even let Ryan Anderson walk as a free agent. That wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. The Clippers would save some money. Anderson would be a three-month rental as they try to figure out how they’re going to get past Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference playoffs.
In free agency, Ryan Anderson would draw in a lot of interest from NBA teams. The league has changed to the point where outside shooters, especially if they are big men, are more valuable than they have ever been before. The Houston Rockets are planning on utilizing Clint Capela as their starting center once they move Dwight Howard, so an outside shooter like Anderson would be a tremendous sidekick for Capela.
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